Undergraduate Medical Education

The Elective Curriculum

Preclerkship Electives:

The elective program in the preclerkship Integrated Scientific Curriculum provides students the opportunity to broaden their intellectual experiences during the preclerkship years and is a major element of the curriculum at UCSD School of Medicine. Starting with the class entering in fall of 2010, students are expected to complete a minimum of 15 weekly hours or approximately 135 total hours of elective work during the first two years of medical school. The elective hour requirement may be satisfied through participation in preclerkship elective courses, directed readings, independent study, preceptorships, and laboratory experiences. Students may choose to enroll in UCSD courses outside of the SOM and earn SOM elective credit. For further information regarding preclerkship electives, please contact the Electives Coordinator.

Clinical Electives:

In the third year, students take 2 two-week clinical selectives (one of the selectives must be in surgery or a surgery-related field).

During the fourth year of the curriculum, students select elective clerkships. Although students are allowed to choose their fourth year schedule, they must fulfill the following requirements:

Direct Patient Care (DPC) Clerkships:

A minimum of three months of the fourth-year curriculum shall be devoted to DPC Clerkships at UCSD or a UCSD affiliated hospital. During these months, students must enroll in:

  • Ambulatory Care Clerkship – A minimum of one month of ambulatory care.
  • Inpatient Care Clerkship – A minimum of one month of inpatient care (including intensive care units).
  • Primary Care Clerkship – A minimum of one month of primary care. Most sub-specialty consultative rotations will not satisfy this requirement.

Other Elective Clerkships:

A minimum of four months of elective clerkships.  (Note, if a student does not take 2 two-week clinical selectives in the third year, then the student is required to take a minimum of five months of elective clerkships in the fourth year, at least one of which must be in surgery or a surgery-related field). For further information regarding clinical electives, please contact Denise LeStrange at dlestrange@ucsd.edu.

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